Currently I have the worst computer in existence: a single core celeron 450 and a geforce 210 (Don't laugh TOO hard, you might have a stroke or something...). Anyway, I'm completely re-doing the computer (more ram, new graphics card, better motherboard and processor, possibly a new psu) so that I can play SWTOR. Right now I get 10-20 fps everywhere but warzones where I get 3-5 fps and characters seem to teleport around as if the cpu is guessing where they are.
I've come up with a few options that are under $175. First would be taking advantage of a one-day sale at newegg that includes an a4-3400 and a compatible motherboard, which is $90 after rebate, then buying a radeon 6670 for $50 after rebate. Not sure if the a4 will allow you to crossfire (or whatever they are calling it when you use an a-series cpu...) with that gpu, but I know the a6 and a8 will.
Second would be not upgrading my motherboard, buying a cheap pentium D at 2.8 GHz (Ghz?) and then buying a decent graphics card like a radeon 6870. Then I would pray that it doesn't get bottlenecked too much and upgrade to an ivy bridge i7 in a few months.
Third would be getting an a8-3870k, buying a cheap motherboard and then installing water cooling and overclocking it so that I could play SWTOR on low with 20+ fps.
Out of all of these, which is my best option for a solution, even if it is temporary? I just want to get 20+ fps on low settings, but I wouldn't mind having decent fps on higher settings either. And I consider 20-30 fps to be pretty good, so it shouldn't be too tough to get that on low with these potential specs, would it?
Don't settle with something less than your ultimate objective; save some more, or you'll get stuck twice trying to sell used parts. Yesterday, a guy sold an i3 550 with gigabyte h57 board and 4 gb of ddr3 for only $75 on my local craigslist. Somebody got a good deal on near new stuff. I wouldn't plan on purchasing anything with less than $500 saved unless you find a deal like this too good to pass up.
Use the onboard video for awhile or an old video card until you can save for a better one. If you don't like my selections, order the newegg shellshocker special and 8 gb of the less expensive 1333 ram before midnight pacific coast time and skip the video card. The 6670 isn't much better than amd's onboard video.
In case anyone reads this, I just found a new, unopened radeon 6790 for $80 on craigslist, so I think I'll get that and upgrade my processor to a core 2 duo, then upgrade to an i5 (with a new motherboard, obviously) in a few weeks. Anyone know just how much the core 2 duo would bottleneck the 6790?
just saw your reply, o1die. thanks for answering my question! Do you think it would be better to stick with a8's onboard video, or should I just spend $80 on a 6790 and upgrade my processor/motherboard in 2-3 weeks?
Use intel's onboard video for awhile. This board is the best value I've ever seen from newegg; it has 4 ram slots, usb 3.0 and sata III support built in, and I use two biostar boards so I know they work fine. It also is ivy bridge ready; you can pop in a 3570 someday when you're ready to splurge and won't have to flash the bios for it to work. I would order this before newegg raises the price.
The last poster is dead on, as far as pricing goes. So if you'll be happy with the lano platform, then go for it. I just believe you'd be far happier with an Intel platform in the long run. But it's really all dependent on your long term goals and how quickly you can save some more cash. Good luck.